What makes a good recruiter?


I was reading a bad recruiter experience on Recruiting Blog, posted by Will Thompson, called Really, Really Bad Recruiters. It made me think of many bad experiences that I have had over the years with recruiters.

One instance in particular popped into my head after reading Will’s post.

I applied for a position through an employment agency, that I thought I was qualified for. I had the experience required and even the ‘nice to haves’.

I received a call from the recruiter the next day. The first question that she asked me is where about in the city do I live. I responded ‘x’. She told me that the job was located far in the East end and because I was considerably West that it wasn’t a good fit for me. She thanked me for applying and told me that she’d keep my resume on file for other positions.

The phone call lasted approximately two minutes.

The recruiter did not ask anything about my experience or qualifications.

She made up excuses as to why it was too far for me to travel to this position and hung up.

I did not even get a chance to make that decision myself. (Little did she know that I commuted 160 km per day for work for 3 years.)

Given the bad experience that Will had, the bad experiences that I have had, and probably the bad experiences that you have had too, what makes a good recruiter?

What should you be looking for in a recruiter? Here are some of my suggestions:

1) A Good Listener.  A good recruiter is someone that will listen to you. They will not make a sales pitch about a position that you are not suited for or make judgments about you before talking to you. They will ask probing and open ended questions. They will understand your preferences as a candidate and will know what positions will interest you before they ask you.

2) Let you make up your own mind. A good recruiter will tell you about a position and then let you decide if you are interested in the position or not. They will not coerce you into accepting something that you don’t think you are a good fit for. This is a sign of respect.

3)  Be honest and forthcoming. A good recruiter will be clear about what they can and what they can’t do for you. They will give you full job descriptions and will give you an honest appraisal about your chances. They will also get back to you when they say they will.

4) Be happy to keep you as a candidate. A good recruiter does not mind having a candidate ‘on the books’ for a while. They will stay in touch with you .

Do you have other suggestions to add to this list? Leave a comment below.

One comment

  1. Great post! Thank you for citing my recent experience also. I agree with everything you said. Probing and open ended questions are the best! How would you know if a job was right for you if you didn’t ask these kind of questions. Thanks for sharing! Will

Leave a ReplyCancel reply